J. Gordon Duncan

Culture, Business, Fitness, Etc.

Why Would Any One Visit Sovereign King Church?

A letter to the church that every one else might find interesting…

Recently, the ladies at Project Runway had a great discussion about inviting people to worship.  The ladies pondered this question:  “Why would my neighbor drive past 5 good churches just to visit ours?”  That is an excellent question.  Why would someone bother passing a bunch of other churches just to visit Sovereign King?  I gave this a lot of thought, and here is what I would say.

First of all, if your neighbors know of a really good church to visit other than SK, please encourage them to go visit.  But if they are not actively worshiping anywhere, they probably don’t know of 5 other great churches.  SK is not competing.  If another church is proclaiming salvation by faith alone, we aren’t in any competition.  They may have different ministry emphases than we do, and that will make a difference, but if folks know of 5 really good choices, encourage them to jump into one.  If not, why not check out Sovereign King?

A big advantage that you have when you invite someone to visit is that you know them.  When it comes to visiting a new church, it is always comforting and less awkward to visit with someone you know.  Ask your neighbors to ride with you or meet you at a certain time.  Be sympathetic to the challenges of first time visitors, and seek to alleviate them.  Don’t be shy about it.  Say, “Hey I know it’s kinda weird going to a church for the first time, so does your family just want to follow us over on Sunday?  That way, we can introduce to you to people and you don’t have to walk around trying to figure out where the nursery is.”  Visiting a church is not like a recommendation to a restaurant.  People will check out a place to eat if someone says the food is good because you don’t have to interact with anybody but the people at your table.  Attending worship is different because you are going to meet a bunch of strangers.  The advantage you have when you invite a friend or neighbor is that they already know somebody:  you.

Another reason that SK is an attractive invite to your neighbors and friends is because we truly desire to be legalism free.   Oh, we don’t accomplish that all the time because we are sinful, but we do strive to proclaim a faith in Jesus by faith alone, and that faith is kept by God by faith by God’s power.  Because of that, we try to avoid making up and enforcing man-made rules of living.  We try to avoid guilting people into obedience and service.  We want Jesus to be our only hope in this life.  Sadly, that is not the case for every church.  People have been really hurt because of made up rules surrounding everything from movies to clothes to what we drink to what we eat.  A church that desires to avoid those kinds of things and preach freedom in Christ really can be attractive to people.  Explaining that about SK gives you avenue to invite your friends and neighbors to worship with you.  A humility that explains that we don’t always get it right is attractive as well.

SK also does a great job loving and serving the community.  One of the chief complaints about churches in Garner is that people feel like they only exist to serve their own needs and their own members.  But God has blessed SK with awesome ministries to the Garner Police, EMS, and Hayes Place.  We get to serve those folks like Jesus served us, and those ministries keep us from focusing too much on ourselves.  That kind of ministry and church is rare these days.  We are blessed by God to have these opportunities, and they are an attractive quality about our church.  Prayerfully, they may be attractive to your  neighbors and friends as well.

Finally, another reason to encourage your neighbors and friends to visit is that SK is a friendly place.  I’m afraid not every church is.  But God has blessed us with great people who are genuinely excited about visitors and genuinely excited about each other.  Our friendliness at the door is an invitation to your neighbor to relax among strangers.  Our friendliness speaks of the work of Jesus who welcomed all and was even a friend to sinners (Luke 7:34).

God has blessed our church in many ways, but the most distinguishing gift of all is the real and palpable sense that Jesus is the only hope we have and the only hope we proclaim.  So in inviting your friends to Sovereign King, what you are really doing is inviting them to Jesus.  And an invitation to Jesus needs no justification.

I can’t wait to meet all of the people who worship Jesus at SK through the faithful friending and inviting of your neighbors and friends.

Gordon

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February 19, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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